AstraZeneca pays out $198m over drug claims

City A.M. Reporter
AstraZeneca has agreed to pay $198m to settle 17,500 US personal injury claims related to its schizophrenia and bipolar disorder drug Seroquel.

A further 2,900 additional cases have been dismissed.

The Anglo-Swedish drugmaker said the payouts would not affect its recently raised forecast for 2010 "core" earnings per share of $6.35 to $6.65, since any provision would be disregarded in calculating this underlying measure of profit.

The best-selling medicine, which had sales of worldwide sales of $4.9bn in 2009, has been linked to an increased risk of diabetes and has been subject to long-running legal claims.

News of the settlement agreements is not unexpected. Sources familiar with the situation had already said last week that AstraZeneca had agreed to pay around $55m to settle some 5,500 US claims.